Sunday, December 04, 2005

Booze not good for you after all: "After years of telling us that a couple of drinks were good for us by reducing the risk of heart attacks, one team of experts have changed their minds. The team led by Dr Rod Jackson and three colleagues from the University of Auckland in New Zealand, suggest that the apparent protective effect of alcohol may be largely due to confused research. Writing in The Lancet medical journal, they maintain that any benefit from light to moderate drinking is probably small and unlikely to outweigh the harm to health caused by alcohol. If anything, they say the evidence of heart protection is more convincing for heavy drinkers, though the dangers greatly outweigh this benefit. The Auckland team point out that earlier studies were not randomised to avoid confounding errors. For instance, people who stop drinking because of heart problems may be included in studies and misclassified as "never drinkers" in studies. This would lead to the impression that small amounts of alcohol protect against heart disease".

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